Don’t Complain

“Sister, there are people who went to sleep all over the world last night, poor and rich and white and black, but they will never wake again. Sister, those who expected to rise did not, their beds became their cooling boards, and their blankets became their winding sheets. And those dead folks would give anything, anything at all for just five minutes of this weather or ten minutes of that plowing that person was grumbling about. So you watch yourself about complaining, Sister. What you’re supposed to do when you don’t like a thing is change it. If you can’t change it, change the way you think about it. Don’t complain.”
Maya Angelou

4 Comments leave a comment below

  1. So if you can’t change a bad situation, just accept it?


  2. I strongly disagree with the first half of this. In this day and age where mental health is taken seriously, it is important to still realize that one persons situation does in fact matter. So while there will always be someone worse off, their situation today is just as important as anyone else’s.

    Second half of the quote is spot on.

  3. This piece is about not complaining.

    You can have an attitude of gratitude, and still take care of your mental health, and be aware of that makes you tick, what doesn’t, and live your life with consciousness.

    There are things you can change, and there are things you cant.
    People, you can’t change, even if you can, it takes years of un-conditioning, and then reconditioning.

    If the change you’re talking about, “I would like to have peppermint ice-cream but it is out of stock” .. can you change it? yes you can, and you should, so, dont complain because all it takes is to walk to the next store to get it.

  4. This reminds me of so many women I admire and how I try to operate: don’t like something? Life is unfair? Of course it is. Instead of wasting a lot of precious energy lamenting it, just get to work. We are not complainers, we are doers. (Who only complain a little, haha.)

    I also love the poem by Jack Gilbert, A Brief for the Defense.